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Professional Senior Picture Tips

senior picture tips for professional photographersSenior pictures is a special moment in our lives. It’s a time that marks our transition from childhood to that of an adult. This means a seniors portraits should be the very best that you can provide. Here are some of the best professional senior picture tips to help you get amazing images from your photo session.

Clothing for Senior Pictures

One thing I have always told my seniors is to bring their closet. There’s nothing worse than spending a couple hours photographing a senior who only brought 2 changes of clothes. You want them to bring more outfits than you plan on photographing them in. This allows the photographer the flexibility to mix and match outfits and coordinate with various scenes and backgrounds on a moments notice.

Clothing styles should be a mixture of plain classics and contemporary fashion. Your classic sets allow you to create timeless images that the senior will continue to love for decades. Contemporary fashion outfits capture the moment in time and express the seniors current style, which of course will look out of date in a few years.

Girls should be instructed to bring lots of accessories. This includes a wide variety of bracelets, earrings, necklaces, hats, scarfs, and so on. If your senior shows up with luggage, it’s going to be a good senior picture session.

Hair & Makeup

These days senior pictures hold the same emotional value as newborn and wedding photography. I always advise my seniors to either have their hair & makeup done professionally before the shoot or I arrange to have a stylist on hand during the senior picture session. Regardless of how well a senior can do their own hair & makeup, it will never compare to the quality of a trained Makeup Artist (MUA), preferably one who has experience working with photographers.

Outdoor Locations

Very few seniors request studio only senior pictures these days. They all want outdoor locations, urban environments, and just about anything that doesn’t include being limited to the studio. Spend some time getting to know your area. Explore every park, campus, garden, and alley for potential senior picture locations. Try to build up a collection of locations based around a central point. This will allow you to quickly move between locations within the session time frame and offer the senior a larger variety of images.

Keep in mind that you cannot predict the weather and a photographers dream of cloudy days are often ruined by harsh light. You will need to be prepared to use fill flash, reflectors, and diffusers. If you do not have the proper equipment to shoot in the sun, focus on locations that offer a great deal of shade. This will help prevent ruined images from splotchy patches of light on the skin and the dreaded raccoon eyes effect when the sun is blasting down.

Senior Picture Poses

When taking senior pictures you need to be thinking about diversity. A senior, or their parents, are not going to be happy with a hundred photos that all look the same. Practice your posing and continually look for fresh ideas. Make sure that you are taking a variety of close-ups, 3/4, and full length poses. Experiment with angles parallel to, above, and below the subject.

Another factor that will play heavily on the diversity of your poses is actually the lenses that you use. Shooting with a 35mm and a 200mm will give you two completely different results of the same pose. Make sure you switch things up and use a variety of lenses during the senior picture session.

Make sure to take a look at the print products available from LifePhoto. You’ll find amazing options for announcing your senior graduation and preserving those moments forever.

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4 Comments

  • by Arista Hair Solutions
    Posted May 20, 2013 11:53 am 0Likes

    Good advice, thanks for sharing!

  • by ARCpoint Labs of Kalamazoo
    Posted May 21, 2013 8:53 am 0Likes

    Senior pictures is a big deal for today’s students. It is memorable moment that needs to be captured.

  • by BC Roofing & Remodeling
    Posted May 22, 2013 9:03 am 0Likes

    Bet this makes it easier for the photographer to work with clients!

  • by TITLE Boxing Club Olathe
    Posted May 22, 2013 12:42 pm 0Likes

    Having a “wardrobe” with you makes pictures in the same location look completely different. Good advice!

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